Hi Jay - I've heard this theory and yet my toenails which were in socks and shoes the whole time (it was winter) were badly affected but my fingernails which saw the sunlight (no varnish) were unaffected by the paclitaxel - go figure! The joys of chemo.
Hi ladies - I'm from the May 2017 chemo starter group.
I had my final chemo two weeks ago and I'm pleased to say that so far my nails are fine (a llittle discoloured but that is due to the dark nail varnishes!!)
I kept mine varnished regularly using black/dark brown/deep reds and purples. It's the sunrays which must be avoided getting to the nail beds.
Basically, it depends on the chemo drug as to whether you need to use "dark" nail varnish. Taxol being the worse (ie Docetaxel and Paclitaxel). I found the best people to ask are the chemo nurses, they are in daily contact with other patients going through the same treatment and generally have lots of first hand experience and advice.
Another good tip is to purchase and regularly use Udderly Smooth cream (with added urea) for any potential peeling of skin to hands and feet, in fact it can be used anywhere on the body and it's fantastic.
As for how you'll feel - everyone is different and even for someone on the same treatment, you may experience completely different side effects. My best advice is not to plan for anything but to see how you feel after your first treatment and take it from there - don't put any extra pressures on yourselves - it can be tough!
Good luck to all x
Hi Karen - don't panic, you'll be fine. You'll probably feel a little bit under the weather and will get tired more easily but I can't see that it would stop you working altogether if you want to carry on. It is good to do things that make you feel normal. There may be days in your cycle when you don't feel up to it, but other days when you feel fine. Chemo can damage your nails. Some people will have no problems, others may lose some of their nails. With EC, my nails were ok but showed "rings" (white lines across the nail) for each cycle I had! With paclitaxel, my toenails were painful and some lifted off the nail bed so I got infections underneath. Easily treatable with antibiotics but it has taken 8 months for them to recover. There are v different opinions on whether to use nail varnish during chemo. I would advise against because I think it dries your nails out a bit making them more susceptible to damage, plus you need to be able to see them to check you are not developing any infections. Other people, however, believe you should paint them to strengthen them! Do what feels right for you.
I'm a nail technician...due to start chemo in the next few weeks! Confused with the whole can I carry on doing my own nails with gel or not!! Obviously I want to try and keep things as normal as possible for me during these next daunting months ahead! And any advice on whether I'm gonna feel well enough to do other people's nails 😬
Starting to get panicky 😱
Hello there Kim,
Just to let you know that there is a nail polish available that allows moisture & air through. It's called INGLOT O2M breathable nail enamel. It's available online and pricewise is on a par with Nails Inc. I ordered a base coat, 3 different colours & a top coat. I've used them all & am very pleased with them. Best wishes Carol x
That's it Lisa,
The Evonail. Although the company has changed the design of the product/packaging. There was a discussion a while back when we noticed this.
Im the end had one bottle of the old Evonail and then one of the new. Both seemed to work OK for me. I used the new version mainly on the "T" part of my treatment which has the reputation of nails being damaged I think,
I'd hate to be wrong though and send you off to buy the new one and find it didn't work. Hopefully someone else will comment.
Looks like I need to reshedule my booking this week for no polish on nails and just dark nail polish on toes
I've had all sorts of conflicting advice on my nails. My consultant said OK to gels but the nurses at the actual chemo infusions asked for nail varnish to be removed from my hands.
I ended up with dark gel on my toes and Evonail on my hands
My finger nails grew beautifully on chemo. Not sure if it was the Evonail or the craving for milky drinks I developed.
My toe nails were OK all through the chemo and I had the gels done again but now approx 6 weeks after my last T both big toe nails are lifting.
Fingernails OK so far (touch wood)
Hi ladies, having read through the posts I am confused as to whether it is safe to have nails done using Shellec polish.
I have my toes and nails booked in for Friday using Shellec polish like I usually do - should I now avoid this? I am just on FEC75 no T also where and what make sell water based nail varnish💅
Foxy I used the cold mitts & slippers & had no lifting or any other problems as a result BUT they were absolutely freezing. Yes, yes I know that's the point, but it was a bit like walking in the snow with no shoes on...you get the picture. I don't think it would be for everyone, but it certainly works if you can stand it & I had 3 FEC & 12 paclitaxels. xx
Anyone tried Evonail treatment? Also just received a Leighton Denny crystal glass nail file in the post. I got my nails done at my local Cancer charity and they used one of these. You can file in both directions and they are much kinder on the nails than emery boards apparently. They get rave review, just google them.
Hi Kim I was told it's the nail varnish remover which dries them out & the nurse recommended Benecos nail varnish & remover because it's made of natural ingredients. It looks just like any other varnish, but you have to rub a little harder to get it off. I carried on using onicolife drops after chemo & haven't had many problems, but I have noticed a lot more vertical ridges in my nails than before chemo. I am wondering if they will ever go back to normal. Does anyone know? xx
This link should give you some more info on nails during chemo. http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/hair_skin_nails/nails.
Also Belle's link further down the thread.
I've heard of some women using shellac during chemo but it is generally not recommended, perhaps check with your oncology team beforehand?
Best of luck with your treatment.
What no nail salons? Really? I'm due to start chemo on Friday and was told by a friend who has gone through chemo to keep up with the shellac. Tell all!
Thank you all so much for your replies and sharing your experiences.
I'm going to have to ditch the dark nail polish, on my hands anyway, as I look ridiculous.
I will check out the links you have provided.
Again, many thanks.
I used Opi nail envy strengthener (was recommended by someone here) and nail oil for the fec part and Opi hawian pink strengther for the T as I to looked like a 2 years old had painted with dark polish (used it on toes). Palmers concentrated cream worked wonders on dry hands an cuticles. Early days as chemo only finished last week but up to now apart from being yellow don't have any other problem fingers crossed!
There's quite a lot on nail care in the chemo tips & tricks thread but it's a long way back - currently page 9! But this link should take you there: https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Top-tips-and-practical-support/Chemotherapy-Tips-and-Tricks...
I have every sympathy with you. I'm a life long nail tearer. My nail painting skills aspire to be as good as a 5 year old's but I have improved. I started going for once I realised chemo was in the pipeline because I knew I needed to a) stop biting/tearing, b) improve my cuticles which were always torn and c) that it would give me something to do and might make me feel a bit better. Never being one for the girly, it's been quite an eye opener. Like you, I've used Burt's Bees cuticle cream which has been fab, not a quick or torn cuticle in sight. I use buckets of handcream too. I've also used a nail strengthener, a chip resister as well as two coats of colour and a top coat. Then an acetone free remover when necessary. All the polishes I use are ones that avoid the worst chemicals (I stick to OPI) and I'm afraid shellac is definitely not receommended 😞 More info here: http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/hair_skin_nails/nails
Having said all this, FEC has caused my nails to dry and become so brittle that they now flake continually and I've just had to give up on the painting 😞 I was having to do it every day which is just ridiculous. So I'm left with discoloured yellowy flakey nails but my cuticles are still good!
I had my first TC last week and I have bought these:
Not used them yet but I have been using horse hoof oil because a horsey friend gave it to me and I thought it can't hurt.
Just a quick poll, what are we all doing, if anything, to protect our nails during chemo, particularly the T part.
I've been wearing dark nail polish but I'm really struggling with it, I have been a life long nail biter until I started chemo so I'm rubbish at putting on nail polish. I tried to do them again tonight but they look like they've been painted by a 5 year old!
I've been massaging coconut oil, almond oil, Burt's Bees cuticle cream (not all at the same time!) into my nails also.
Anyone using evonail, shellac? I know, strictly speaking, we are not supposed to use nail salons during chemo but has anyone tried it?